Ornithological Club



Guidelines for the submission of records


Members’ records are used to determine the status of birds in the County and HOC welcomes all records of birds seen in Herefordshire; systematic records submitted regularly throughout the year are particularly valuable. If you are lucky enough to discover a county or national rarity please contact the county recorder immediately.

The club uses a secure computer database managed by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) known as BirdTrack This is a national database and the Herefordshire records are available to HOC to help local surveys and to produce the annual report. As this is a national database, the records contribute greatly to building up a national picture of the status of birds in the UK and contribute to national conservation efforts.

HOC encourage all our members who have computers to enter their records directly to BirdTrack; the database is easy to use and very intuitive. Once entered you can access and extract your data and compare it with the latest national data for any species.

Alternatively, records can be entered electronically on an Excel spreadsheet available by email from the data manager or county recorder. This greatly simplifies the task of entering the records onto Birdtrack. All completed spreadsheets should be sent as email attachments to Other email records should also be sent to this email address.

We also welcome records in other formats from members who do not have easy access to a computer. A printed record form is available from the HOC data manager and should be returned to him for processing; please send records monthly or quarterly to spread the task of their entry on to the database.

The data manager is Chris Robinson, Rock Cottage, Newton St Margarets, Hereford, HR2 0QW and his email address is

A deadline of 31st January is set for the submission of records from the previous year to ensure that records are assessed and processed in time for inclusion in the Club’s Annual Report. The names of the observers are included in the list of contributors in the annual report. Please inform the data manager if you have any concerns about personal information being stored and used in this way.

Rare birds

Records of rare birds require supporting evidence. In all cases inform the County Recorder as soon as possible. If possible, get other experienced HOC members to corroborate your observation. Try and obtain photographic or video evidence as this will greatly assist the documentation of rare or unusual birds.  

For county rarities the County rarity form should be completed and sent to the county recorder. For birds that are also national rarities, complete the  British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC) report form available here. The completed form should be sent to the County Recorder who will forward it to the BBRC.  A similar report should also be made of unusual races of species or for migrants seen at very unusual times. For a list of the species that are assessed by BBRC go to

Rare breeding bird records should also be communicated promptly and directly to the County Recorder so that the record can be independently confirmed and information on the site restricted appropriately. Information about rare breeding birds assessed by the RBBP (Rare Breeding Bird Panel) can be obtained from

Herefordshire Ornithological Club is a registered charity England and Wales number 1068608